Zeman calls for NATO to guard EU borders

Czech President Miloš Zeman said NATO would do a better job of protection European borders from immigrants than the proposed European Border and Coast Guard.

“I favor a joint NATO command to protect the EU borders, similar to what exists in Afghanistan,” Zeman told news server Parlamentní listy.

“The current proposal for a border guard with 1,500 people is a cartoon version of a border guard,” Zeman said.

He also told Parlamentní listy he assumes that the military will soon have to guard the Czech border.

Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO), who is also a deputy prime minister, agrees with the idea of using NATO.

The Czech government on the other hand favors the proposal of the European Commission for a Border and Coast Guard, although Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka  and Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek (both Social Democrats, ČSSD) also favor a “plan B” involving creating a secondary border with controls in case the external border of the Schengen zone fails.

Zeman also voiced his opinion that refugees reaching the Czech Republic should be sent back under the Dublin agreements because the refugees should seek asylum in the “first secure country,” which is seldom the Czech Republic as it is in the center of Europe, not the border.

Zeman also wants to strictly limit the number of refugees allowed in the Czech Republic.

He acknowledged the need to accept a few families with sick children and persecuted Iraqi Christians but did not see the need to accept more than that.

“I say clearly: These are enough. This is it,” Zeman said.

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